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  • A 403 forbidden error is an HTTP status code that can be returned from a web server to a client for a variety of reasons including
    • IP blocking,
    • bad file permissions, or
    • if a user tries to access a hidden file.
  • The web server will return a 403 forbidden error based on rules that are configured that tell the server when to deny certain requests.
  • There are multiple variations of the 403 error which you might see dependent upon which server you are using. A few examples include:
      • Error 403 Forbidden
      • 403 Error
      • Forbidden
      • 403 Forbidden
      • Nginx 403 Forbidden
      • 403 Forbidden: Access Denied
      • HTTP 403 Forbidden
      • 403 Forbidden Error
      • 403 Forbidden Nginx
      • hostgator 403
      • error code 403 22

  • forbidden meaning – access denying on a file can be given with this 403 error message.

1. status code 403 - Problem:

  • When we try to access our site in a web browser, we may receive a 403 forbidden error message.
  • Furthermore, we may see entries in the runtime error log similar to the following line:

2. http 403 - Cause:

This problem 403 error occurs when any of the following conditions is true:

  1. There is no index file in the document root directory (for example, there is no index.html or index.php file in the public_html directory) which arises status 403.
  2. http status code 403 - Permissions are set incorrectly for either the .htaccess file or the public_html directory:
    • The file permissions for the .htaccess file should be set to 644
      • read and write permissions for the user, and
      • read permissions for the group and world).
    • The permissions for the public_html directory should be set to 755
      • read, write, and execute permissions for the user, and
      • read and execute permissions for the group and world.
      • When the 403 area code error occurs, this often indicates that the permissions for the public_html directory are set incorrectly to 644 which may arise 403 forbidden access is denied.
    • Caching -> A previously requested version of a URL returning a 403 forbidden error it may be cached in the browser. Clearing your cache may solve the problem. So that, you aren’t being served with old files.
    • http forbidden - Accessing Hidden Files / Wrong URL -> If a user tries to access hidden files stored on your web server such as the .htaccess file, this will also return a 403 forbidden error.
      • Hidden files are not meant to publicly accessible which is why the server restricts them and lets the user know they are forbidden to access them.
      • Similarly, if a user incorrectly enters a URL, a 403 forbidden Nginx error message (or something similar) may also occur depending on what they have entered, for example, a directory instead of a file path.

      • nginx 403 - Fixing an Nginx 403 Forbidden Error
      • In addition to the 403 error causes mentioned above, there are also a few things you can do to troubleshoot for Nginx 403 forbidden error.
      • No index file defined – When there is no index file present in the directory defined with the index directive, this can result in an nginx 403 forbidden.

For example, consider the following index directive:

index index.html index.htm index.php;
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  • Nginx will search from left to right for the defined index files. Starting with index.html and ending with index.php, if none of the defined files are found, Nginx will return a 403 error.
  • IP based restrictions – Your nginx.conf file should also be verified to ensure you are not unintentionally denying a particular IP. Check the configuration file for directives similar to deny 192.x.x.x; which will block said IP from accessing a particular directory, website, or your complete server (depending on where you define it).
  • Autoindex Off – With Nginx, if you don’t have an index file then a request gets passed on to the ngx_http_autoindex_module. If this module is set to off then you will likely receive a Nginx 403 forbidden error. Setting this module to on should resolve the 403 error. For example:
location /directory {
autoindex on;
}
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3. 403 forbidden error fix or 403 forbidden access is denied how to solve :

  • First, make sure there is an index page in the document root directory.
  • Next, make sure the correct file permissions are set for the .htaccess file.
  • Type the following command at the command prompt:
  • how to fix error code 403 - To set the correct file permissions in the public_html directory. Then type the following command at the command prompt:

4. Differences Between 403 Forbidden and 401 Unauthorized Errors

  • A 401 – Unauthorized error occurs when a request to a particular resource that requires authentication either does not provide authentication or the authentication provided fails.
  • A 403 error on the other hand, is returned when the authentication process is passed, but the user is not allowed to perform a particular operation or the operation is forbidden to all users.

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